Technically, I think posting the picture up there, using the title I used and promoting this post with the hashtag – #LifeisGood is all I really needed to do. My blog world friend and supporter @damyantig helped organize this tribute to Tina Downey, who passed away on August 23rd. Ironically, just before reading Damyanti’s post asking people to pay this small tribute to Tina, I had stopped to take these pictures of sunflowers. The upper one, the one that is there for Tina, was the view out my passenger side window when I stopped. I hope that photo helps to achieve the desired effect. The collection of sunflowers seemed to represent a wide variety of emotions.
The photo to the left is for the rest of you, the writers, bloggers, friends of Tina and friends of mine. I look at the almost endless row of sunflowers, and I see my peers, my friends and the people to whom I am connected through this community of writing.
I didn’t know Tina.
In the pure sense of the word, I don’t know Damyanti, but she’s my friend. True, we’ve never met. We may never meet, but I know her. I know her through her beautiful writing. I know her through her thoughtful comments. I know her through her supportive outreach to me and other writers and bloggers. I follow and I am inspired by a cadre of writers, authors, poets, photographers and artists. I relish the fact that many of them have chosen to welcome me into their company. That’s why I am remembering Tina.
I have read a number of Tina’s posts, mostly those associated with or that were a part of the A-to-Z Challenge. Tina was one of the organizers of that amazing event. If you aren’t familiar, the A-to-Z Challenge is a marathon blogging event during which people write something every day except Sunday throughout the month of April. I followed Damyanti and several other participants, there were over 2,000! Reading the daily production was time-consuming. I cannot imagine the effort involved in writing the 26 posts, let alone the 26 bits of original flash fiction some writers managed to produce.
In her request, Damyanti said:
“If you didn’t know Tina – celebrate this Blogfest as a day of choosing to be joyful – a choice Tina Downey made, despite all her suffering, every day of her life.”
I can do that. I hope that you can join me.
I want to express my sorrow to Tina’s family. I only know you thought Tina’s words, but I feel that I know you well. I hope that my thoughts and prayers can add some measure of comfort to you during this sad time.
If you want to know more about Tina, I recommend her introduction page on the A-to-Z Challenge. I think that’s the way she wanted people in this community to know her.